Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Ratliff, Timothy L.

Second Advisor

Griffith, Thomas S.

First Committee Member

Griffith, Thomas S.

Second Committee Member

Legge, Kevin L.

Third Committee Member

Perlman, Stanley

Fourth Committee Member

Henry, Michael


Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells identified in mice as Gr-1+CD11b+ cells with the ability to inhibit T cell function. MDSC are emerging as important regulators of T cell mediated immune responses. Current paradigm suggests that despite heterogeneity, all Gr-1+CD11b+ cells are suppressive when exposed to inflammatory stimuli. In vitro evaluation shows MDSC from multiple tissue sites have suppressive activity, and in vivo inhibition of MDSCenhances T cell function. However, the relative capacity of MDSC present at localized inflammatory sites or in peripheral tissues to suppress T cell responses in vivo has not been directly evaluated. Using a tissue specific acute inflammatory prostatitis model, we demonstrate that MDSC inhibition of CD8+ T-cell proliferation is restricted to the inflammatory site.Further, MDSC from inflammatory sites possess immediate capacity to inhibit T-cell function, whereas those isolated from peripheral tissues (spleens and liver) were not suppressive without activation of iNOS by exposure to IFN-_.Using two mouse models of prostate cancer, we extend these findings to thetumor micro-environment. During a chronic inflammatory response induced by tumorgrowth, we show Gr-1+CD11b+ cells from the tumor site possess immediate capacity toregulate effector T cell function whereas those from the spleen do not. In both tumormodels and in our prostatitis model, long term culture of activated T cells with splenicGr-1+CD11b+ cells converted precursor cells into functional MDSC during standard in vitro suppression assays. These data highlight the importance of MDSC in the prostate, and demonstrate the function of MDSC during a localized inflammatory response isrestricted to the site of an ongoing immune responseGrowing evidence suggests that prostatitis associated with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is mediated in part by the loss of T cell and B cell tolerance to prostate antigens. Clinical data demonstrates the presence of T cell proliferative responses to prostate auto-antigens in CP/CPPS patients. However, the mechanisms leading to this loss of tolerance are not clearly understood, largely because of a lack of available animal models. We report the development of a new mouse model for the study of chronic prostate inflammation (CPI), the Prostate Ovalbumin Expressing Transgenic-3 (POET-3) model. Adoptive transfer of antigen specific OT-I T cells induces CPI characterized by infiltration of exogenous (OT-I) and endogenous T cells into the prostate persisting as long as 45 days after transfer. In vitro and in vivo data demonstrate inflammation induced loss of T cell tolerance to prostate auto-antigens. Auto-antibody responses to prostate antigens were detected in POET-3 mice after induction of CPI. These data have important therapeutic implications for treatment of CPI.


Arginase I, CD8 T cell, inducible nitric oxide synthase, Myeloid-derived suppressor cell, Prostate inflammation


2, xii, 176 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 162-176).


Copyright 2011 Jessica M. Haverkamp